Little Puffin

The Atlantic Puffin . During their breeding season, some 35,000 seabird couples from 12 different species are harboured in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada.

 

Among these birds, the Atlantic Puffin is clearly the one stealing the show. With its clown-like head and brightly coloured beak, it is one of the islands' most fascinating birds.

 

In French, the Atlantic Puffin is known as the Macareux moine because, out of the water, it keeps both feet together like a monk ( moine ) saying his prayers. Its brightly coloured beak gives it an exotic look and accounts for its nickname perroquet de mer (sea parrot). Others call it the calculot (calculator) because of the way it nods repeatedly, like a person counting.

 

The Gulf of St. Lawrence provides the necessary ecological and oceanographic conditions for the settlement of puffins. The sea currents make for a nutrient-rich aquatic environment, and the puffin prefers the smaller islands because there are less predators there. Puffins are found on three islands: two larger colonies are on Île de la Maison and Île à Calculot des Betchouanes , while a very small colony nests on Île aux Perroquets .

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Taken on June 6, 2012